Stuart Cook was born April 15, 1913 in Richmond, Virginia. Cook attended the University of Richmond and received a BS in biology and Master's in psychology. In 1935, Cook attended the University of Minnesota where he completed his PhD in 1938. Cook's research at Minnesota involved backward associations in verbal learning and distribution of associated words, verbal conditioning of galvanic skin response, judging intelligence from pictures, producing experimental neurosis in rats, and measuring attitudes toward fascism. Upon graduation, Cook became head of the Bureau of Psychological Services for the state of Minnesota.
At the onset of World War II, Cook entered the Army Air Force working with Colonel John C. Flanagan in the aviation psychology program at the Santa Ana Army Air Base; Cook assisted in directing it. This program researched tests to select potential pilots, bombardiers, and navigators. Cook's other duties in the military involved selection and training of airborne radar operators. Cook later became director of research for the Commission on Community Interrelations of the American Jewish Congress. In 1949 Cook established the Research Center for Human Relations at New York University. As the director of this center, Cook's research on prejudice examined race relations and involved studies of interracial housing in public housing projects. In 1950, Cook became head of the New York University psychology Department.
In 1963, Cook became Professor and Chair of Psychology at the University of Colorado. From 1978 to 1980, Cook headed the Institute of Behavioral Science where he researched the behavioral aspects of energy conservation. Cook retired in 1980 as Distinguished Professor but continued research and work at Colorado.
Cook passed away on March 25, 1993 in Boulder, Colorado.
From the guide to the Stuart Cook papers, 1947-1993, (Center for the History of Psychology)